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Adaptive policymaking: Bridging planning, policy and practice in KP

The Consortium for Development Policy Research (CDPR) in partnership with International Growth Centre (IGC) and Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) organized a webinar on, “Adaptive policymaking: Bridging planning, policy and practice in KP” to discuss how Pakistan’s provinces can strengthen their public service delivery and make planning more responsive. This session was held on Thursday, August 27 from 6:00pm to 7.15pm (PST).
Latest research on state building capacity by Harvard University pushes for Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) i.e. a decision-making process focusing on defining the problem, rather than being pressured to find a solution, to enable policymakers to cumulatively take steps in the right direction.
Following the 18th amendment (2010), provincial governments now have enhanced autonomy to drive policy and public expenditure decisions more efficiently. PDIA or a similar approach will require that bureaucrats are empowered to take independent decisions along with higher transparency to remain accountable to the public. A civil service administrative overhaul may be needed, but is it possible?
The webinar was centered around Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and took a deep dive into Pakistan’s provincial public investment management systems to highlight why excessive rigidity and lack of bureaucratic discretion may distort optimal policy outcomes and how such an approach may be implemented to improve planning. The following eminent panelists discussed this question and more:
1. Dr. Lant Pritchett, Development Economist, RISE Research Director at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
2. Mr. Shakeel Qadir Khan, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of KP
3. Dr. Ijaz Nabi, Country Director, IGC Pakistan and Chairperson, CDPR
4. Ms. Sarah Saeed, BS-21 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) and Directing Staff, National School of Public Policy (NSPP)
5. Mr. Hasaan Khawar, Team Leader, DFID-funded SEED Programme – will moderate the session
Key focus questions are as follow:
1. How can the PDIA approach be implemented by provincial governments?
2. How can public investment management systems improve service delivery in the provinces?
3. How can planning be made more flexible and transparent to achieve optimal policy outcomes?

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